Hearing aids have advanced considerably throughout the past 10-15 years.
As each year goes by, hearing aids become smaller, more discreet, and more reliable at enhancing sound. They also come well equipped with several innovative features, including the capability to connect to other devices wirelessly, which is what we’ll be reviewing today.
Here’s how wireless technology works and how you can benefit.
How Bluetooth technology works
Bluetooth is a standardized wireless communication platform that enables devices to interact with each other through radio waves. A large variety of products incorporates Bluetooth technology, including smartphones, portable music players, tablets, computers, and televisions.
Have you ever noticed someone talking on their phone using a hands-free wireless headset? Or somebody taking a call from their mobile phone using their car audio system? That’s Bluetooth technology in action.
So can you buy a Bluetooth hearing aid?
Yes and no. Bluetooth technology requires a greater power supply than can be furnished by hearing aid batteries. But there is a workaround, and in fact, there are two.
Your options for wireless hearing aids
Hearing aids do not integrate Bluetooth technology directly because, as we mentioned, it would consume the battery too rapidly. Fortunately, manufacturers solved this problem long ago by creating an intermediary between the hearing aid and the Bluetooth device (computer, television, phone, etc.). This intermediary is called either a “streamer” or an “assistive listening device.”
Here’s how it works: your Bluetooth enabled cell phone communicates wirelessly to the streamer which then sends the signal to the hearing aid without depleting the hearing aid battery.
So, if you’re in the market for wireless hearing aids, you have two main options:
- Hearing aids combined with an assistive listening device – as outlined above, the assistive listening device, or streamer, which is a small hand-held device, acts as an intermediary between the Bluetooth device and the hearing aid.
- Made for iPhone hearing aids – some hearing aid models are branded as “Made for iPhone,” which in essence means that the iPhone acts as the streamer itself, connecting directly with the hearing aid.
Your hearing care expert can help you determine which choice is right for you.
The benefits of wireless hearing aids
Whether using a streamer or a Made for iPhone hearing aid, there are several benefits to going wireless, including:
- Better music listening experience – imagine streaming your favorite music from your iPhone or handheld music player directly to your hearing aids. This way,, your hearing aids transform into a pair of high-quality earbuds.
- Hands-free phone calls – answering phone calls with no hands is more convenient and having the sound stream directly to the hearing aids produces enhanced sound quality.
- Sharper TV sound – streaming the audio from your computer, tablet, or TV results in cleaner sound and elevated speech comprehension from movies and TV shows. You’ll never struggle to understand dialogue again.
- Better gym experience – listen to your favorite podcasts or music at the gym without any wires getting in the way.
- Customized control – inconspicuously adjust your hearing aid volume and settings by using your wireless remote control or iPhone (with compatible models).
- Connection to hearing loops – hearing aids equipped with telecoils can connect to hearing loop systems in community venues like auditoriums, theaters, and courts.
Interested in upgrading to wireless hearing aids? Call us today for additional information.